BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing

As a mental health nurse, you’ll help your patients to face their challenges and you will make a difference to their lives, every day.

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend an open day How to apply


A 24-year-old man with OCD, unable to leave the house. A mother with young children with suicidal thoughts. A middle-aged man with depression and substance abuse issues.

Our high-tech, high-speed lifestyles and the pressure of constant connection to social media means that mental health and wellbeing is a growing health concern for our society. During this three-year course, you’ll develop the expertise to manage both the physical and psychological needs of patients.

Some of the topics you’ll explore include the ethics of medicine management, recovery approaches, and intervention therapies for substance abuse. You’ll also learn practical skills in conflict resolution, how to manage challenging behaviour, and how to safeguard vulnerable patients.

When you’re on campus, you’ll practice clinical techniques, such as how to manually take a patient’s blood pressure and how to give emergency care in our Clinical Simulation Suite. Here, we create simulations of a patient’s journey from admission to discharge.

To help you feel prepared, you’ll spend half of this course on clinical placements. You may work with elderly patients with dementia in a nursing home, be part of a psychiatric intensive care unit or community psychiatric nursing team helping get patients back into their communities.

All students must demonstrate in their personal statements an understanding of mental health nursing in the UK incorporating the NHS core values and contemporary issues in nursing. You must evidence an understanding of the qualities required to be a nursing professional in the UK in order to be shortlisted for an interview. Successful applicants will be subject to a video/face-to-face interview.

This programme is subject to review in 2019 following the publication of the new NMC standards for nurse education.

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

When you graduate, you’ll gain a Bachelor of Science degree and eligibility to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as an adult nurse.

As a registered mental health nurse, you might work at one of our partner NHS trusts, where you completed a placement experience, or you might move into the private or voluntary sector.

Many of our graduates work as staff nurses in NHS hospitals in the UK and go on to become ward managers or specialist nurses, but you could develop your nursing career in a GP practice, care home, school, hospice, prison or the Armed Forces.

You might decide to specialise in a particular field of nursing and continue with postgraduate study. We have a range of postgraduate courses to support your professional development.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

We will interview you as part of your application.

UCAS tariff points/grades required


104-112 UCAS Tariff Points at A2 (Grades BCC-BBC) or acceptable alternatives e.g. BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma, Extended Diploma at Level 3 (Grades DMM)

BCC-BBC, any subject considered but preference given to core or health related subjects - maximum of 3 subjects considered.

Specific GCSE requirements

A minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above including Mathematics, English Language, Science and evidence of IT skills. Grade B GCSE Science preferable for applicants who are studying Level 3 BTEC

For applicants who do not hold a GCSE Maths qualification C/4 or above, we welcome applications from candidates who are willing to undertake and complete an equivalent to GCSE Maths C/4 prior to entry i.e. Level 2 Functional Skills

We will accept GCSE Science, Biology, Additional Science and Applied Science.  BTEC Level 2 Science (Pass) is an acceptable equivalent.

Please note that we will only consider one equivalent (as outlined above), i.e. either Mathematics and Science.

Access to HE Diploma candidates studying a Science based course only require GCSE English Language and Maths, Grade C or 4.

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject which includes science-based content with a minimum of 112 UCAS Tariff points – considered on an individual basis, taking into account educational experience, life experience and skills

International Baccalaureate points


IELTS score required for international students

7.0 overall with no element less than 7.0

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Additional Requirements

All applicants must have evidence of Level 3 study within the 5 years prior to application and must provide an academic reference.  This must be from a referee who is able to comment on the applicant's suitability for the nursing profession and focus on their character, attitude and personal skills during voluntary or care experience.

Previous experience in a health care setting is desirable.

A satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate is required for all students. This will be completed through the university prior to enrolment.

Your personal statement is expected to demonstrate: a professional attitude, effective communication skills, good time-management skills, an awareness of your own strengths and weaknesses/limitations, an insight into Mental Health Nursing, care environments and current issues in contemporary nursing or health care, an ability to work both independently and as part of a team, motivation and a commitment to the course, an ability to solve problems and to think creatively and a capacity for leadership.

Applicants will need to be able to demonstrate evidence of I.T. skills.

Further information

Shortlisted candidates must attend an interview in person.

IELTS 7.0 with no element below 7.0 will be accepted as an alternative to GCSE English Language.

Candidates from a variety of backgrounds are welcome to apply.

Course details

Mental health nursing is a demanding, yet rewarding profession. Our undergraduate courses have been designed, developed and are delivered to recognise the core values of the NHS and the required standards of our accrediting body the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Nursing is a challenging profession, both mentally and physically, which carries a great deal of responsibility. Mental health nurses care for people across the lifespan including young adults and others with acute and long-term illnesses in a range of settings both NHS and non-NHS. They work as part of a wider multi-agency team including police and the justice system, social work, social care and a range of other support services providing a range of opportunities for employment.

This course specialises in caring for and supporting individuals with mental health issues in a variety of settings, including hospitals, the community and with independent and voluntary organisations. You will learn how to assess the needs of the patient, communicate effectively with professional colleagues, and provide sensitive support for the patient and their families. You will also develop leadership and management skills required to motivate and supervise others.

At the start of the course, we’ll teach you a range of topics laying the foundations of mental health knowledge and your responsibilities as a nurse, along with basic practical skills such as taking blood pressure. You’ll progress through increasingly complex issues, developing the expertise to manage both the physical and psychological needs of patients.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Foundations in Professional Practice (Mental Health)

This integrated unit will provide the foundation knowledge and skills required to prepare a student nurse to understand and appreciate the complexity of knowledge required in order to become a professional, accountable and competent nurse. Topics include: working in a multidisciplinary team; introduction to ethical practice; reflective practice; academic writing and referencing and information skills. There will be a focus on the development of the skills and attitudes needed for communication with a range of service users. You will study with the adult nursing students for core lectures and in dedicated mental health groups for specialist content.

Foundations of Knowledge and Skills for Nursing (Mental Health)

This integrated unit will equip you with the necessary clinical skills, numeracy skills and knowledge of underpinning anatomy and physiology to deliver safe, effective, and competent nursing care. This unit will include one split placement with adults to facilitate the aseptic technique assessment in practice.

You will study with the adult nursing students for core lectures and in dedicated mental health groups for specialist content and skills.

Nursing in a Contemporary Society

This integrated unit will explore the wider determinants of health and focus on the principles of safeguarding of at risk groups. Key themes include the development of self-awareness within the context of effective communication. There will be an emphasis on the safeguarding of at risk and vulnerable groups whilst adopting a holistic and preventative approach to health and wellbeing. The concept of advocacy will be explored in relation to mental health. You will study with the adult nursing students for core lectures and in dedicated mental health groups for specialist content.

In year 2, you have the opportunity to complete an additional, self-funded placement. This elective placement is part of the Global Nursing and Health unit, which explores contemporary, global challenges such as malnutrition and poverty and the opportunities for health and wellbeing.

Some of the topics you’ll explore in year 2 include how models of therapy and counselling theories (such as cognitive behavioural therapy) work in practice, medication and the ethics of medicine management, and managing challenging situations.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Global Nursing and Health

This unit focuses on contemporary, global challenges and opportunities for health and wellbeing, and implications for both the nursing profession and global health systems. Underpinning this is a focus on patient empowerment and the extended role of service users. 

You will develop your knowledge of epidemiology, anthropology, disease processes and transition, and investigate globally important issues, including malnutrition, obesity, sanitation, poverty and mental health.

We will explore how communication and collaboration supports nurses to deliver culturally competent, patient centred care to our increasingly diverse patient populations. All students will complete a two week, self-arranged, elective placement related to health care, either within the UK or abroad, as part of this unit. 

Application of Skills in Mental Health Nursing

Over the course of this dedicated mental health unit, you will study subjects relating to acute and long-term ongoing care. The application of communication strategies will be utilised to help you develop your self-awareness and ability to deal with challenging practical situations and interventions. Mental health theory and practice will be covered to include the politics of health and how models apply in practice e.g. talking therapies, recovery approaches and brief intervention therapies. You will develop a range of key and transferable skills including problem solving and the utilisation of numeracy for practice. Our virtual community Birley Place will be the focus of learning in relation to both mental and physical health.

Evidence for Practice

This integrated unit will enable you to gain skills in relation to searching for and critiquing evidence to support practice in your field. The unit will principally cover methodologies, critical reading and writing, referencing and citation and the ability to source evidence to support the development and delivery of evidence based practice. Ensuring that you understand the context of service provision and the need for service evaluation and audit in order to enhance and assure quality care. You will also study with the adult nursing students for core lectures and in dedicated mental health groups for specialist content.

As well as practical skills, some of the topics you’ll explore in your final year lectures include infectious diseases and possible ways to control them, how poverty impacts on health, and the ethics of being a mental health nurse in today’s society.

You’ll learn about the importance of reflective study and how it helps you to cope with the challenging aspects of nursing, pharmacology in relation to nursing care, and how politics affects healthcare.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Transition to Professional Practice

The aim of this integrated unit is to promote your transition from a nursing student to a registered mental health practitioner who is able to think critically about their practice and synthesise new ideas. The content will include selecting and developing models of care to meet patient need. For leadership and management including governance of care, the focus will be on leadership theory and its application and include integrated working.

This unit will also explore issues associated with professional development, developing autonomy and preparation for registration including supervision, preceptorship, revalidation, teaching skills and supporting learning in practice. This will relate to the experiences of newly qualified staff as well as the expectations of the ward manager role.

This unit includes the Staff Nurse Tool kit, which will be tailored to simulation of ward and community mental health environments to develop your clinical decision-making skills, resilience and confidence prior to registration.

Integrated Study Unit

The Integrated Study Unit provides an extended opportunity to critically explore a chosen topic within healthcare practice and permits the demonstration of knowledge and skills corresponding to programme awards and their application to practice. Learning experiences will focus on the scholarly skills necessary for completion of the written dissertation component of the unit. Individual supervision from a named supervisor will support the individual student in respect of this. You will engage with lectures, workshops, tutor supervision, peer group working and independent study. Practice learning will necessitate the student to critically apply and defend evidence-based interventions in practice supported by a mentoring team and with the contribution where applicable of other healthcare professionals. You will engage in supervised learning in the practice setting and undertake a range of advanced clinical skills in the laboratory.

Dimensions of Mental Health Nursing Practice

The dedicated mental health unit will focus on communication, breaking bad news and conflict resolution, managing challenging behaviour and facilitate the experiential learning in relation to mental health interventions e.g. CBT, talking therapies, use of creative therapies. Complex, evidenced based holistic care planning and philosophies of care will be explored and facilitated. Professional issues in mental health nursing will be analysed together with complex ethical decision making strategies and legislation in practice. The law and ethics of medicine management and prescribing will be critically reviewed in preparation for clinical assessment. The Acute Illness Management Course (AIMS) is included in this unit tailored to mental health.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises of 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars, practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

Year 1: 40% lectures, seminars or similar; 50% placement ; 10% independent study
Year 2: 30% lectures, seminars or similar; 50% placement ; 20% independent study
Year 3: 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 50% placement ; 25% independent study

Placement options

You will attend a variety of placements in Greater Manchester across each year. Practice is 50% of the course - 2,300 hours across three years must be achieved to register with the NMC.

You must have completed the DBS process and mandatory training prior to commencement of placement.

You will be supported in placement by appropriately trained staff.

Department of Nursing

Our Department of Nursing is a large team of specialists, covering many aspects of nursing and healthcare, offering real insight and experience of professional practice.

The department is passionate and enthusiastic about helping students achieve their goals, working to the mission statement of not just providing academic qualifications, but equipping students with the tools to become professionals.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff


UK, EU and Channel Island students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students

Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £16,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

Other Costs

Health checks: You will be required to complete an Occupational Health Assessment to ensure that your health does not constitute a barrier to the achievement of the programme learning outcomes or eligibility to apply for registration with the professional body. This will require the completion of a health questionnaire before or during the first few weeks of your course, followed by an occupational health screening appointment which will include the consideration of appropriate immunisations. Travel costs to appointments (which will be within the Greater Manchester area) will not be covered by the University. Professional Suitability: students on programmes leading to professional qualifications are required to adhere to professional standards and codes of practice during their studies. Failure to do so may lead to exclusion from the programme on the grounds of professional unsuitability. Students will be briefed about the requirements at the start of their studies. Course specific regulations: Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies require students to achieve results that demonstrate their ability to practice safely. There are therefore some exceptions to the standard University Assessment Regulations for those students, for example limitations on resits and on condonement of failed marks.


For further information on financing your studies or information about whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships, follow the links below:

Bursaries and scholarships

Money Matters

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How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

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UCAS code(s)


Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


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